But those results don’t tell the whole picture; Ferrari missed various race-winning opportunities during Red Bull’s streak, while Verstappen would have likely won the British GP had he not ran over some debris.
Hopes for a third victory in a row at Paul Ricard may also depend on some Red Bull misfortune: the circuit’s high-speed corners connected by long straights are likely to give the RB18 the edge.
Don’t forget Mercedes either after impressive pace at Silverstone, masked by a poor qualifying performance and the first-lap crash involving George Russell.
The team has had a driver on the podium in each of the past four races, and continued development could push this year’s car closer to the front.
This could have a decisive impact on the title picture, with Hamilton – who has won twice at Paul Ricard – or Russell potentially in a position to take points from Ferrari and Red Bull.
Paul Ricard weather: sweltering conditions forecast as heatwave continues
Forecasts for the coming weekend predict temperatures as high as 36C on Sunday — more than 10C higher than the July average for the region.
As well as making racing uncomfortable for drivers, the continuing European heatwave is set to have implications for tyre management: Pirelli is bringing the C2, C3 and C4 compounds, omitting the very hardest and very softest options.
Most teams have suffered some issues with temperature regulation during the season, and the forecase temperatures will be a test of how effectively they can cool the power unit and brakes: expect to see plenty of vents being opened up.
Expect more problems with track limits this weekend
There were 43 reported breaches of track limits at the Red Bull Ring and if you were looking for a circuit to exceed that figure, then Paul Ricard wold probably be it.
With its distinct lack of grass or gravel traps, the temptation for drivers to go as close to the white line as possible is as high as any track on the calendar.